Joy (OmeU)

Sudabeh Mortezai
AUT 2018
101 min

Once we realize Joy is merely a name and the freedom the eponymous prostitute works for is nothing more than spectres of a life which she will never be able to live, it is already too late. Rarely has the popular Austrian practice of filming prostitution in Vienna felt so exigent and desperate as in Sudabeh Mortezai’s second feature. As the camera observes the daily life of illegal immigrant Joy, a sex worker from Nigeria being caught in the trafficking of women, it gets harder and harder to judge ethical decisions and differ between good and evil. Instead of moral lessons and dramaturgical chains JOY is  interested in the life caused by one of the many perversions of capitalism. Everybody is a victim, everybody is a perpetrator. Filmed in an elliptical but caring disorientation reminiscent of direct cinema one feels that not only dark voodoo powers have taken possession of these women but a relentless system. Mortezai repeatedly focusses on the face of Joy as if to look for the possible hope and escape cinema usually finds. However, she only clings to the human grace speaking behind those struggling eyes. Joy fights for a survival that seems to be just a prolonged death. (Patrick Holzapfel)

In the presence of Sudabeh Mortezai.

  • Joy Alphonsus
  • Gift Igweh
  • Precious Mariam Sanusi
  • Angela Ekeleme
  • Sandra John
  • Chika Kipo
  • Ella Osagie
  • Christian Ludwig
  • Sudabeh Mortezai
  • Klemens Hufnagl
  • Oliver Neumann
  • Carola Pizzini

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